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Civic Participation, Ideal Education, and Well-being

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Title: Civic Participation, Ideal Education, and Well-being
Author: Jiang, LinKai
Advisor: Yurdin, Joel; Wright, Kathleen
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Philosophy
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: If one is struggling between a decision to party or to organize for social change, this thesis hopes to provide resources for reconciling this tension between personal desires and political duties. I argue that civic participation is an essential part of living a good life. Living well entails more than material satisfaction, it requires active engagement in the affairs of the state. In the process of deliberating the affairs of the state one establishes concrete and genuine relationship with valuable people/objects/events. Such a relationship is an actual manifestation of one's well-being, beyond the lofty psychological state of happiness. I arrive at my conclusion by considering the essential purposes of the state and thus its responsibilities. I structure my thesis according to the following four sub-questions: 1. what sort of responsibilities does a state have toward its citizens? 2. what sort of responsibilities do citizens have toward their state? 3. what constitutes human well-being? 4. what sort of mutual responsibilities will lead to the individual and the collective well-being? I will look at Plato’s 'Republic, and Aristotle’s 'Nicomachean Ethics' and 'The Politics' to locate the responsibilities of ideal citizens and an ideal state. I will look at Mill’s 'Utilitarianism' and James Griffin’s 'Well Being' to locate essential elements of well-being.
Subject: Education -- Philosophy
Subject: Political participation -- Philosophy
Subject: Ethics
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Jiang, LinKai. "Civic Participation, Ideal Education, and Well-being". 2011. Available electronically from

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